Though St. Valentine’s Day has been celebrated for a very long time, the Valentine’s Day cards we send today, and their romantic precursors with pictures, real lace and ribbons, didn’t really come into fashion until the mid 19th century with the Victorian era. However, that didn’t mean that lovers in earlier eras didn’t observe the day. Of course, they did. See more.
Research on this issue was the project of Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher, a hygiene academic who, between 1892 and 1920, persuaded 45 women to fill out questionnaires on their experiences of sex, marriage and contraception.
Not surprisingly, the results show that most women knew little about sex before marriage with some admitting they only picked up the facts of life by observing the habits of farm animals. But once married, most women said that their sex lives were active and they enjoyed the “habitual bodily expression of love”.
As Fraser Sutherland notes in his essay Why Making Love Isn’t What It Used to Be, where he examines the writing of Victorian men of letters, the term “make love” has undergone change over the last several centuries. Early on, the phrase referred to both wooing and sexual intercourse.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists the first date for the term “to make love” as 1567, citing Certaine Tragicall Discourses of Bandello with many Georgian and Victorian uses listed as well:
1768, L. Sterne Sentimental Journey “You have been making love to me all this while.”
1784, R. Bage Barham Downs “You..may make love, and play your pitty patties.”
1829, W. Cobbett Advice to Young Men “It is an old saying, ‘Praise the child, and you make love to the mother’.”
1845, T. Hood Poems (1846) “Oh there's nothing in life like making love.”
Thus, the term’s euphemistic usage was firmly entrenched by the early seventeenth century, and remained so into the early twentieth century.
From The Twelfth Night Wager:
It was a dull day at White’s the day he agreed to the wager: seduce, bed and walk away from the lovely Lady Leisterfield, all by Twelfth Night. But this holiday season, Christopher St. Ives, Viscount Eustace, planned to give himself a gift.
While doing my research for the story, I enjoyed vicariously living through the Autumn season in Regency England and Christmastide which ends in Twelfth Night, January 5th. Twelfth Night has its origins in ancient Rome and was a mid-winter event observing pagan fertility rites, a festival of feasting and public celebration. At some point, this tradition became incorporated into the Christian celebrations and included feasting, drinking, games, plays, dances and masked balls. See MORE.
It’s that time of year when I share my favorite heroes and heroines. I have read and reviewed nearly 1000 romances, most historical, and in those novels that I have rated 5-stars there are some wonderful heroes and heroines. Noble men who overcome tortured pasts, flaws and the odds against them to pursue love and heroines who persist against great obstacles to be with the man to whom they would give their heart—strong, intelligent women of character. Every one a worthy hero and heroine.
See the list HERE. It's my Christmas gift to you.
Christmas in Regency England, 1811-1820, the time when Prince George ruled as in his father’s place, was a more subtle celebration than the one we observe today. To my way of thinking, perhaps they were better for it. Christmastide, as they called the season, began with Christmas Eve and continued to Twelfth Night, or January 5th, followed by the Feast of the Epiphany the next day, the official end of the Yule season. See more.
It may surprise you to know that Christmas was not celebrated as a festival in Scotland for about four hundred years. This dates back to the Protestant Reformation when the Scottish Kirk proclaimed Christmas a Catholic feast.
While the actual prohibition, passed by Scotland’s Parliament in 1640, didn’t last long, the Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian, discouraged Yule celebrations beginning as early as 1583 and this continued into the 1950s. Many Scots worked over Christmas and celebrated the Winter Solstice at the New Year, which celebration came to be known as Hogmanay. See MORE.
Best Victorian Romances! Romances set in the Victorian era, generally from 1837 (the year Victoria became Queen) to 1901 (the year of her death). The common perception of the period is that the Victorians were “prudish, hypocritical, stuffy and narrow-minded”. But these perceptions are not always accurate, particularly when the British characters were traveling and learning much about other cultures, as you will see in the romances on my best list. See the Best List HERE
Fall in love with a redheaded rake, a Scottish shipbuilder and a spy! And, along the way, enjoy the festivities of the season. It's a great way to get in the mood for the season!
The Twelfth Night Wager: http://ow.ly/zTuv30gNv78
The Holly & The Thistle: http://ow.ly/JUGi30gNvf2
A Secret Scottish Christmas: http://ow.ly/mjE630fLmjl
It takes talent to write a great historical romance novel, but to write three in a row and make them all worthy reads is a challenge. If you like to read trilogies, as I do, here’s see my list of the top ones I recommend HERE.
Among the things I love are spy stories set in turbulent times, shipmasters who are masters of the sea, and the country of Scotland. All of them come together in my new Regency romance, A Secret Scottish Christmas, set on the northeast coast of Scotland.
Britain was certainly in turmoil then. With high taxes from the Napoleonic wars and the lack of any Parliamentary representation for the growing numbers of workers in the north, the winds of rebellion were stirring.
When Lord Sidmouth gets word of a man of the Scottish gentry raising cries for reform in Scotland, he sends two of his agents north. They just happen to be the identical Powell twins. Their cover to get them there? An invitation to a “secret” Christmastide celebration at the home of a successful shipbuilder in Arbroath.
Into the mix steps a beautiful lass with fiery red hair and two loyal dogs she has named “Goodness” and “Mercy”. Throw in a snowball fight, ice skating on a frozen pond and a trip to Stonehaven for Hogmanay and to see Dunnottar’s ghosts, and you have a Christmas to be long remembered.
Get it now on Amazon US, UK, Canada and Australia (among others).
This is my "author blog" that will feature personal updates, what I'm working on, News and other features related to my novels, even some posts from Regan's Romance Reviews.